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New Age Coils - Raw Performance Or Part Placebo


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Been reading a lot about the new Coiltek, Nugget Finder & now Detech coils of late. I haven't had much to do with any of these but have detected a small area immediately after 2 x GPX4500 with the Coiltek Elite 14" mono attached. Although not an exhaustive or scientific test the end result was I got 8 x subgram nuggets from the area with the SDC & the 4500's nothing. 2 of the subgrammers came from adjacent to their scrapings so they knew something was there but was still iffy enough to walk away from. I keep hearing or reading how these coils are transforming GPX's into SDC's or even GPZ's but this short "test", for want of a better word, put some doubts in my mind.

I've got no doubt that there is improvement in the new coils in how they enhance the target information or audio response of the detector through better windings etc. but I'm not entirely convinced it's as substantial as some make out. My thoughts are it may be about 10% performance improvement  (every bit does help regardless) & 90% of a placebo effect i.e. you buy a new coil excited by the possibilities of it's performance, you regain some enthusiasm & become more positive in approach even detecting more carefully + with more purpose - then when you find gold of course it's the new coil that done it right? 

Another thing that has me scratching my head is how excited people are about them finding very small gold. My smallest bit with a GPX5000, fine gold & standard 11" Minelab Commander mono coil was 0.03 of gram (I think about 0.46 of a grain) so they have always been capable of doing it even with an unfashionable coil (but still a good one).

Like I said I'm not doubting that there are definite performance improvements, much like the introduction of litz wire, but I do believe a lot can also be attributed to a refreshed or reinvigorated enthusiasm too. 

New detectors could also have a very similar affect on us. What do the experts reckon?

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I believe it's more sig response performance than mere placebo affect. They are definitely more sensitive these latest runs of coils. But they are not a Huge game changer yet.

Although that placebo would turn quickly into "coil confidence" once a new user to a particular coil hits that first piece of gold with it.

Just to use this size comparison alone ...Elite 11" v Evo 12" v any Minelab 11" or Advantage 12" mono for instance - for me and the majority of the ground I work the Elite has a sharper more pronounced response than the Evo though is more prone to ground noise, and the Minelab's and Advantage run quieter.

But these are only Slighter in both response and ground handling. Noticeable enough to make solid decisions about the difference in performance, but not enough to make me care less which coil is on the end of the lower rod. And given the depth advantage to larger target sizes than these tiny sub gram pieces, I still believe that the Stock Minelab mono's and Advantage belongs on that lower rod more often than not, for me.

Then we step into the next size of 14" Elite, 15" and 17"x13"Evo and 14" Spiral Mono and Detech Spiral 15"DD.Then you have to run through your whole best suited for ground type, mineralization, and preconceived idea of depth of gold and a few other factors. And all to determine the best coil for sub gram tiny gold.

I went through all that crap back in the late 80's to early 90's. Had the obsession with tiny gold. Took a couple of years to get over it.

Ever since then the goal went back to its origin .... fingernail size and up, and the best coil I could use on that ground for those responses at depth.

A couple of 14" coils in DD and Mono, and an 8" DD and a 12" Advantage Mono (very underrated coil) and I'm happy in the knowledge that I'm not missing anything that'd change my year for the better.

And I still hit shallow specs that I spend 10 minutes searching for!

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Oh and just a quick disclaimer Matt....I'm certainly no expert, that's for sure. But I'm bloody good at my own decision making, and believe everyone else should be too.

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I loved the SDC. Unbeatable in the right spots. Had it for around 18 months but recently sold it to get a used GPZ. Have to admit I'm missing it but in saying that I have only spent 4-5hrs on the GPZ so far. 

That's part of the reason behind the questions. Bit of uncertainty & perhaps thinking a GPX/SDC combo + one of these new coils may have been a better option but I was never 100% convinced on them either. I also knew that if I went that way I would more than likely find myself looking at or for SDC areas more often than not & using it to chase what had become in some ways easy "rattle in the jar" gold. I previously had a GPX5000 when I first got the SDC & ended up selling the 5k for that reason. I just didn't have time for multiple detectors when I got out & still don't really.

The GPZ ticked more boxes for me in that way & some others but I can understand it's not everyones cup of tea. It's early day's yet but I was pleased with how it went first day out. Handled some very variable ground well - tested my GPX5000 on the same area when I first got it & found it harder to tame there initially. Time will tell & if it doesn't pan out then the above question might help with plan B.

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The new coils definitely have a sharper response, and a bit more depth, mainly because the signal is so sharp. A bit of placebo coming into it, yes definitely as with any new gear. But I'm seeing this more so with new users, but it's working for them so all good. The one thing I love about swinging a GPX with pretty much any coil, is the severe lack of lead shot finds (and deep ferrous when in Fine Gold), compared to both the SDC and GPZ in the same areas. Yes, you will find leadshot with a GPX, but no where near the amount you'll get with an SDC or GPZ. I reckon in some spots it's like 10:1. But this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. On one hand, it can be a bit boring and a total confidence killer walking around for hours not digging anything with a GPX, pull out the SDC, start finding targets and then you ping a bit of gold or two. On the other hand, you are using the SDC, finding lead shot after lead shot and haven't walked ten metres in 2 hrs. Pull out the GPX and you're away, covering ground, and bam 1 grammer at good depth. 

So at the end of the day, they're all tools, detectors and coils, it's up to us to put them to good use. 



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One thing most of the experienced people I have read on and experienced myself is that different coils are generally for different jobs and terrain types.  That thought, in my opinion, pretty much carries in different ways across the spectrum of operators.  There is no one cats meow for coils or machine's.  Its my opinion that the operator invariably finds the strengths for each combination of coil, detector and terrain. The placebo really only lays in what I consider the "feel good" emotional response for having confidence in a new accessory.

I dont figure there will be any true game changers when it comes to coils for any machine.  Just improvements, minor and moderate, to the capabilities of the operator and their chosen magic wand.

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Yeah, I`ll vote for performance although the placebo effect certainly applies to all new gear. That extra weight isn`t just a gimmick,  not up there with the Z, but closer than with the coils that came standard with the Xs. Note, my opinion was formed in the field on undug gold, not in a test bed, side by side with a Z, well as close as you can get that is.

I suspect the aftermarket coil manufacturers have well and truly seen how we have taken to the Z with its heavy coil and realised we`ll swing whatever weight, if it gets the weight. Still plenty of life in the PIs, for me I`ll swing the Z most of the time.

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From what I have seen with my own machines there is something happening with newer coils, so much so I had to import a Gold Scoop from Miner John because when ever I waved my hand over the coil I would get a signal, Yet my PI is not as sensitive, From way back Coiltek have always been the brand that I have had a lot of success with on my ML machines, But it does appear that other companies are making coils hotter even to the point that I thought that some companies had been boosting the power on the machines when I tested them it turns out that it is the coils that were causing the improvements, I did not see any massive changes in Depth ( If Any ) but on tiny bits some machines seem to have come alive, So I think that a lot of companies have been paying attention as to what results people like Coiltek and MJ and a few others have been coming up with because from what I have seen these improvements were not there before.



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